13: Nerve Monitoring During Thyroid Surgery, with Dr. Özer Makay from Ege University – Turkey

What is The Risk of Vocal Cord Paralysis During Thyroid Surgery and Can it Be Avoided?

Dr. Özer Makay

is an expert in nerve monitoring during thyroid surgery, and has been a guest faculty member in South Korea, Italy, France, the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and Bulgaria. He has received 17 awards and honors for his scientific studies.  He has authored a 300-page book on nerve monitoring during thyroid surgery. 

This episode covers the following topics:

  • Protecting the recurrent laryngeal nerve (RLN) and superior laryngeal nerve during thyroid surgery.
  • Outcomes of damaging these nerves during surgery include no voice, hoarseness, shortness of breath, problem with drinking water or aspiration, impaired physical exertion with something as simple as climbing a flight of stairs.
  • Why some centers have a higher occurrence of damage during thyroid surgery and include an error rate as high as 10%
    The cause of the damaged nerve include stretching or traction, and cutting or stitching.
  • How to reduce risk.
  • Is it possible to reattach a cut nerve?
  • Surgeons who are opponents of using a nerve monitor.
  • Pitfalls of using nerve monitoring.

Also discussed are thyroid cancer trends in Turkey including:

  • Incidence being in the top 5 in the world.
  • Now the number one cancer for women.
  • Proximity to Chernobyl.
  • Screening and awareness as a reason for the increase.
  • 50% of population has a thyroid nodule.

Biography:  In the words of Dr. Özer Makay

I was born in 1974 in the Netherlands. After finishing the primary school there, I completed my secondary and high school educations at Bornova Anatolian High School in Izmir/Turkey. I graduated from Ege University, School of Medicine and started my residency at the General Surgery Department of Ege University, School of Medicine. During my studentship, I did my surgical internship at London King’s College Hospital. During my surgical residency, in 2002, I received education regarding “Laparoscopic Surgery” at Free University Hospital, Amsterdam from Prof. Miguel Cuesta and carried out scientific studies there. I had the opportunity to meet with the robotic surgery system here and did use this system at the experimental investigation laboratory.

After being a specialist registrar in May 2005, I started to work at the division of “Endocrine Surgery” of the General Surgery Department of Ege University. During my fellowship, I worked under the supervision of Prof. Enis Yetkin, Prof. Mahir Aky?ld?z and Prof. Gökhan ?çöz. During this period, I became the first Turkish surgeon to have the right to get the title “Fellow of European Board of Surgery ? div. Endocine Surgery” by passing the “UEMS Board Examination for Endocrine Surgery”. At the Ege University, we started the “Laparoscopic Adrenalectomy Programme’ in 2008, together with Prof. Dr. Mahir Aky?ld?z. Besides, the “Robotic Surgery Programme’ was launched in 2012. I promoted to “Associate Professor of Surgery” in 2012. I have been invited to become a member of the European Board of Endocrine Surgery Committee. This makes me the first Turkish member of this committee. Besides, I was chosen as “the national representative” of a “European Union Health Project” concerning this area.

To date, I own more than 80 national and international publications. Furthermore, I participated in more than 30 national and international scientific meetings as speaker, instructor and guest surgeon. I served as president, scientific secretary or organization/scientific committee member for national and international congresses and meetings. I had been in South Korea, Italy, France, the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and Bulgaria as guest faculty member. I received 17 awards and honors because of my scientific studies presented during national and international scientific congresses. I speak English, Dutch and German fluently and Spanish at elementary level.

My essential areas of interests are “endocrine surgery” and “robotic surgery”. As Ege University, we are the most experienced center of our country regarding “robotic adrenalectomy”.

- OR -

Share the episode



Leave a Reply